Friday, November 27, 2009

R2 makes his big debut on the EMMC Pediatrics Floor

Today, after much planning and work, R2 got to go to the Pediatrics floor and entertain the kids!

Due to privacy requirements, I didn't take any pictures of R2 with the kids. Plus, I was too busy driving R2 around!

The kids, parents and staff were all amazed to see a real life R2-D2 in person!

On the technical side of things, I have several things on R2 that I am going to try to improve.

R2 seems to have one NPC motor that is much stronger than the other. I used the RoboteQ software to test and monitor the motors on the laptop. The left motor is much more powerful than the right, so I reduced power to the left one. It still requires a lot of left input to drive straight. Upon tear down and inspection next week, I'll check the foot drives and belt tension on each foot.

The center foot has a shimmy. R2 struggles to straighten the caster wheels inside the center foot. It could be as simple as an axle too tight. We'll have to see and test some more.

Electronically, everything worked very well. The dome lights lost power when the power cable got yanked out. The cable fell between the dome and body while the dome was moving. A better way to route power to the dome , such as using a slip ring, will have to be considered in the future.

Battery power was fine, no issues there. The XBOX Windows gamepad system worked fabulously. It was fun to hand the kids the gamepad and let them trigger R2's sounds.

I had an awesome time bringing smiles to the kids, parents and staff. I had a LOT of great help from a lot of people getting to this point! Thank you all!